Series 6 - Records relating to Sexual Orientation and Ministry

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Records relating to Sexual Orientation and Ministry

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CA ON00340 F518-6

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  • 1979-1988 (Creation)

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In 1982, as part of DMPE’s commitment to understanding and interpreting ministry it established the Task Group on the Ordination/Commission of Self-Declared Homosexuals. The Task Group was meant to assess the UCC’s stance on ordination/commissioning of self-declared homosexuals. In turn the Task Group produced the "Sexual Orientation and Eligibility for the Order Ministry," a report which provided an assessment of the issue, suggested guidelines for addressing it, and a means of implementation thereof. In 1984 the Task Group's report was evaluated at the 30th General Council meeting and then the group was disbanded. In February 1984 the General Council appointed an Advisory Group on "Sexual Orientation and Eligibility for the Order of Ministry" to oversee the evolution of the Task Group's report and its recommendations both before and after the 30th General Council. Upon the request of the General Council, DMPE in partnership with DMC agreed upon a process for a national study on the sexual orientation, lifestyles, and ministry, involving all levels of the church, which would then lead to a comprehensive statement: This study was developed and implemented by the General Council National Coordinating Group which had representation both from DMC and DMPE. Upon the formation of the NCG, the Advisory Group was finally dissolved in February 1985, having fulfilled their function of setting the guidelines for the selection of the members of the NCG. In 1985 DMPE appointed Rev. David Ewart as National Coordinator of Sexual Orientation, Lifestyles and Ministry who served until 1988 when the National Coordinating Group produced their final report for the 32nd General Council. In response to the report the General Council made two decisions about sexual orientation, church membership and leadership: "all persons regardless of their sexual orientation who profess faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to him, are welcome to be or become full members of The United Church of Canada," and "All members of The United Church of Canada are eligible to be considered for ordered ministry."

Series consists of three subseries: 1) Resources and Office Files, 1979-1988, 2) Task Group on the Ordination/Commissioning of Self-Declared Homosexual Persons, 1984, 3) National Co-Ordinating Group Re Sexual Orientations, Lifestyles and Ministry, 1986-1988.

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See also Fonds 529 for more National Coordinating Group Records; Division of Mission in Canada fonds 512; Office of the Moderator fonds 499; and General Council fonds 500 for records relating to this Group’s work and report.

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